1899, August 1 – Letter from soldier Edward Prise to cousin Rosalie Bauwens

Edward recounts the scourge of yellow fever, his forbidden love, and his displeasure with military life & the islands while a 23-year old soldier stationed in Cuba during the Spanish American War.  Read a transcript of the letter below (original misspellings & all) or click on the image links to view the actual letter. As you read the transcript of the letter click on the links to view information & images about what they are discussing.


Click on a link to view the image: (some images can be further enlarged by clicking on them once they open)

Envelope Front    Envelope Back      Letter Page 1     Letter Page 2     Letter Page 3


Transcript of letter:

Puerto Princepe Cuba, B.8.U.S. Cav., Aug 1, 1899

My Dear Cousin,

Rosalie you must excuse me for waiting so long of answering your letter because you no that it is a hard thing for me to write so i gess that you will let me off for this time.  Well Rosalie i got a letter from my sister Ida last week i was glad to hear from her it made me fell like a new man ever sense i got the letter.  Well Rosalie things are getting pretty tough down hear in Cuba now.  we was moved down town in Barracks and we had everry thing fixed up nicely and the yellow fiver broke out and we had to move out in camp again we moved 8 miles from town and we are not allowed to go to town anymore if a man goes to town he gets 6 monts in the guard house. Rosalie i gess that i will forget all of my spanish that i new now i was going with a cuban girl i mean i fell in love with her and i was learning to speak spanish pretty good but now sense the quarantine i gess that i will be out of luck Rosalie.  it is awfel hard for me to stay a way from town but i gess that i will have to for get all about her now.  Rosalie i am well at present and i am awfel glad that i can say that much for my self.  because theare is an awfel lot of yellow fever down hear now theare is an awfel lot of men dieing down hear i don’t no how many dies a day because no more than a man dies they take him to the cemetary and we don’t no nothing about it.  Rosalie theare was one of our war recruits that was discharged down hear last June, stayed hear and started up a little farm he lived all by him self and this morning they found him dead in his shack he was dead 3 days before they found him.   he died from yellow fever.  Well Rosalie i will be 23 years old to day and tomorrow i will have 2 years in the army.  I am a Corpal now but i don’t like it.  i liked saddler better but you no that a man has not got his owne say so in the army.  Rosalie they was some talk about us going to the Philipines Ilands but i hope that it is a romar because i have got all of thease Islands that i want, it is to hot down hear for me.  i am half nigro now i don’t think that i ever will get the tan off of my face again Rosalie you have no idea of how hot it is down hear and how aggravating it is hear.  Rosalie did you see the gun Boat Nashvill when it was in St. Louis the Nashvill is a small Boat you outhgt to see some of the Boats that i saw in Havana Harber.  it would make you open your eyes to see them.  Well Rosalie how is all of the folks getting along are they all well and how is gramma is she well i would like to see her but it will be an other year yet i gess.  Rosalie how is your fellow getting along give him my best regards and tell him never to come to Cuba because he will be sorrow if he does.  Rosalie when ever tey want me to fight for Cuba again they will have to come in my back yeard and then they will have to make an awfel lot of noise before i will fight for Cuba.  Rosalie remember the Maine but the —- with cuba and all the rest of the Islands they aint no good no how.  Well Rosalie i will have to stop for this time because mess call has blew and i will have to go and get my beans so good  give all of the folks my best and answer soon i remain your true cousin  Ed. Prise B troop, 8th Cav.


Edward H. Prise

B 8th US Cav.

Puerto Principe Cuba



One response to “1899, August 1 – Letter from soldier Edward Prise to cousin Rosalie Bauwens

  1. Pingback: Edward H. Prise 1876 – 1949 | Our Wonderful Family History·

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